Last week, Tyrese Haliburton finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and was named to the NBA All-Rookie 1st Team, capping off an amazing start to his career during his rookie campaign.
Haliburton spent time in a myriad of ways including coming off the bench, starting games, and on the sideline with injury, and through it all, what stood out most about his first year was his maturity as well as the high level of intellect and execution he possessed when on the floor.
Even though Haliburton’s numbers don’t pop out like those of Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball, Haliburton’s stat line paints a picture of efficiency and high IQ.
Sacramento’s rookie might not have lead Edwards or Ball in points, rebounds, or assists, but he did have their number in all of the following: field goal percentage, three point percentage, free throw percentage, offensive rating, assist/turnover ratio, and true shooting percentage.
Additionally, while Edwards (26.4%) and Ball (24.7%) ranked 1st and 4th respectively among rookies for usage rate, Haliburton ranked 39th with a usage rate of 17.5%.
With the ball in Haliburton’s hands way less than his other Rookie of the Year candidates, he still put up solid numbers that earned him serious contention for taking the award. If Haliburton did have the usage rate of his other rookie counterparts, I think that the award would have undoubtedly been his.
Haliburton also made his name in the league this season with his clutch factor, which goes hand in hand with his maturity and demeanor, which are that of a seasoned vet.
In the clutch this season Haliburton shot 58.3% from the field and 46.7% from deep. But it didn’t just have to be in the clutch for Haliburton to show up, for in the fourth quarter altogether, Tyrese shot 54.2% from the field and 48.8% from three point land while also taking care of the rock with a 3.36 assist/turnover ratio.
Haliburton smoothly knocked down clutch shot after clutch shot and seemed almost automatic whenever the game was on the line. Even in his NBA debut, Haliburton came through and delivered against Denver.
Tyrese Haliburton drilled B2B big time threes 👀 pic.twitter.com/UqWpsaWuC7
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 24, 2020
Tyrese Haliburton coming in clutch 🔥#CrunchTime pic.twitter.com/6VEPNLmQkP
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 30, 2021
TYRESE HALIBURTON IS CLUTCH
The Kings rookie scored 15 of his season-high 17 in the 4th quarter!
17 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 0 TO pic.twitter.com/fbc6Kck4QN
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 7, 2021
Tyrese Haliburton hits the clutch fading 3 and calls game pic.twitter.com/6SA4aY429d
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) January 7, 2021
Haliburton was dazzling throughout his inaugural season in the NBA. He showed he has what it takes to be a great player and leader in this league for years to come with his advanced knowledge and understanding of the game.
Kings fans couldn’t be happier with Haliburton’s production this season and even though he didn’t bring home the Rookie of the Year hardware, NBA All-Rookie 1st team honors was a nice consolation for the way he performed in his first year.
Haliburton has earned every ounce of recognition and is set to have a long career ahead of him. He already possesses the skills and tools necessary to keep taking steps forward and I, for one, cannot wait to see what Haliburton accomplishes in the league— hopefully all of it is done in Sacramento.